The Simplified Wealth of Nations of Adam Smith, Book 5, Chapter 1t, Article 3: Moral Education

Chapter 1t, Article 3: Moral Education for People of all Ages

190 The educational institutions for people of all ages are chiefly those for religious instruction.   191 In the Roman church, the inferior clergy's industry and zeal are kept more alive by the powerful motive of self-interest than in the Protestant church.   192 David Hume is the most illustrious philosopher and historian of the present age. He says:
  • The magistrate's constant rule, except on the first introduction of any art, is to:
  • Artisans find that their profits rise by the favour of their customers.
  • 193But there are also some professions which bring no advantage or pleasure to anyone.

  • It must provide against negligence by:
  • Examples are those employed in the finances, fleets, and magistracy.
  • 194 At first sight, it may naturally be thought that ecclesiastics belong to the first class.

    195But at closer inspection, we shall find that the clergy's interested diligence is very harmful.

  • In the end, the civil magistrate will realize his big mistake in creating a fixed establishment for the priests.
  • In this way, ecclesiastical establishments become advantageous to the political interests of society in the end.
  • 196 But whatever were the effects of the clergy's provision, they perhaps were unintentional.   197 If politics never called in the help of religion, it would probably have dealt equally and impartially with all the different sects. 198 Even if this equality of treatment does not produce this good temper and moderation in most religious sects, each sect's excessive zeal would not be harmful if: It would produce several good effects.  

    Next: Chapter 1u: Austere vs Liberal Morals